You probably know plenty of adults that absolutely hate going to the dentist. While everyone knows how important dental hygiene is, it’s still one place that you’d rather not spend an afternoon. If it’s difficult to get an adult into the office for a cleaning, then you can imagine what some parents go through trying to drag their child into the exaggerated world of terror that is the dentist. Thankfully, there are things you can do while your child is still young that can help make the dentist an acceptable place to visit.
Don’t Bring Them to Your Appointments
Some parents think that bringing their child to their own visits will make them feel more familiar with the entire process. However, kids are more perceptive than you think. If you’re feeling even a little anxious about your own dental appointment, they’ll be able to pick up on that. If you or another adult patient in the office shows signs of fear, it’ll make their own visit that much more difficult.
Schedule a Meet-and-Greet First
If it’s your child’s first time going to the dentist, it’s smart to schedule a quick visit to the office first to “meet some new friends” before the actual appointment. Express how important dental hygiene is and how this new friend of theirs is going to make sure that their teeth are always clean and healthy. This “dentist” that you speak of is a person who is there to protect them.
Avoid Certain Language
Try not to use language that might scare them like “drill” or “remove cavities” that can send their imagination into a tailspin of fear. Remember to refer to your dentist and his or her staff as “friends” and you’re simply “going to see them.” Leave out any details that you don’t know how to explain and let the dentist take care of defining any procedures. Don’t use any words that remind them of doctors, like “appointment” or “doctor’s clinic.” Get creative with the way you express the idea of the dentist!
Check Your Own Attitude
Even with these strategies to ease them into going to the dentist, there’s a good chance that they’ll still put up a fight. You want to be prepared to be calming and comforting, because being mad or forceful will make matters worse. They’ll connect your mood, behavior, and attitude with the visit to the dentist. If you remain calm, they’re more likely to absorb your attitude toward the situation. Our Family dentistry office in Houston, TX, is ready and willing to assist you in easing your child into their new world of dental hygiene.